A Summer of Fun for 2021 on the BNMC

Welcome to summer 2021! After everything we have been through this past year, we are delighted to invite you to join our BNMC Summer of Wellness, our healthy, fun program of events and hwp-contentenings that will help all of us reinvigorate and recharge. We have an array of events that will allow us to safely gather together to bike, walk, or practice restorative yoga. Join us for one, for some, or for all. These programs are open FREE  to all who live and work in our community and on our campus. They will be safely socially distant, and facemasks are recommended. You can register for everything here.  Here’s what’s on the schedule this year:

 

Open Streets – May 21!

Join the Fun on May 21!

Being able to enjoy the outdoors – walking, exercising, getting fresh air – is an important part of living a healthy, hwp-contenty life.  With limited park space in our area, and the need to still stay safely socially distant from one another, we’re rethinking how we use our streets.   For our first-ever Open Streets event, we will be closing Washington Street between Carlton and High Streets to traffic and we’ll use the space for healthy activities, starting off with a Bike to Work Day breakfast for anyone who rides their bike to the event. Breakfast for the first 50 riders will be FREE.

There will be many healthy fun activities until 2 pm. You can register for them here.

We’ll have food trucks, D.J.s, and giveaways too!

Masks and social distancing will be required to ensure a healthy and safe event for everyone!

Our event partners:

 

Join Us for Meditation Mondays in November!

Free, Virtual Meditation Sessions

Every Monday in November Beginning Nov. 2nd from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. 

The BNMC Healthy Communities team presents Meditation Mondays, a 30-minute live guided meditation each Monday morning from 8:30 – 9:00 am in November. Each week has its own theme to provide focus, purpose, and intention. All participants will receive recordings of each session and an e-book to guide their own meditation practice once the series has concluded. Meditations are being guided by Amiyah King and Jasir Ali, full bios in our Facebook Events page. Register on our Medical Campus Wellness Events Public Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2243130692613771

Download our Meditation Mondays Flyer!

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Support Efforts of Farmers, Not-for-Profit Organizations, and Small Distributors to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

Projects Support the Longer-Term Goal of Improving Access to Institutional Procurement

 

BUFFALO, NY—The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has partnered with four local organizations to support projects that will increase the food system resiliency in our community. A total of $20,000 has been distributed to local partners to support the production and distribution of local foods, as well as the sustainability and growth of small farms and distribution businesses that may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding has been made available through “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation,” an existing three-year grant that the BNMC received in 2018 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Local Food Promotion Program.

This collaborative initiative is designed to create a model that prioritizes local agriculture from New York State, enabling farms to access new markets (hospitals), and can be replicated across the state. The initiative is expected to create a culture that embraces local farms through prioritizing local procurement; establishes and expands community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs; establishes food chain transparency; increases awareness and knowledge among consumers of local food procurement efforts; and provides knowledge and skill-building opportunities to agribusiness stakeholders (farmers, distributor, food service teams). This project ultimately aims to make local procurement a regular practice and culture among health care institutions.

“Our grant manager at USDA was very understanding about our efforts to increase healthy local foods in hospitals slowing as our health care partners shift their full attention to caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marla Guarino, BNMC’s Farm to Institution Program Coordinator “We were able to redistribute the funds originally earmarked for conferences, travel, and longer-term strategies that are currently on hold, and expand the scope of the initiative to have a more immediate impact on making our local food system more resilient.”

Guarino added, “Implementing these short-term wins more quickly supports the overall goal of the grant – increasing the ability of small farmers and organizations to play a role in institutional procurement, such as hospitals, colleges and universities, prisons, and school districts.”

In order to support the local food chain supply quickly during the pandemic, the BNMC team looked to extend projects with existing partner organizations, primarily focusing on infrastructure capital improvement; equipment; and data enhancement.  Priority was given to projects that were able to be completed within 4-6 months; collaborative efforts; minority and women-led; and infrastructure moving toward institutional procurement in the future. All final decisions required wp-contentroval from the BNMC USDA grants manager.

The team worked with the USDA in April for wp-contentroval to redirect funding, and identified the priority projects with partner organizations in May. All organizations received the funding over the summer and are well on their way to enacting change.

The following four organizations each received $5,000:

St. John’s Baptist Church, God’s Farm’acy Mobile Truck

God’s Farm’acy is a mobile food truck and raised garden initiative that distributes hot meals, fruits, and vegetables for free throughout the Fruit Belt and other underserved communities. The team at St. John’s also uses the truck to offer healthy cooking classes in the community.  They used the funds to add refrigeration to the mobile food truck, allowing them to help eliminate food desserts by increasing access to fresh foods and nutrition information. Received: Funds toward refrigeration for Mobile Truck

Groundwork Market Garden: Groundwork Market Garden is a family-owned farm on the East Side of Buffalo. GMG received funds to develop and promote a digital catalog of local farm products available for purchase. This digital catalog will be updated regularly and used to secure business with larger institutions that small farms traditionally do not serve. GMG plans to include all local urban growers into the catalog as a way to procure larger contracts and promote local farms. Received: Funds for development of digital catalog, on-line marketplace and marketing support

“These funds are helping to bring our farm up to speed with the current trend for local food to be available through online marketplaces,” said Anders Gunnersen, GMG cofounder. “The online catalog will separate our products by retail and wholesale and will be used as a means to sell produce, and as a marketing tool for our farm to reach more people and institutions in the city of Buffalo and Western NY. This project is going to streamline our sales processes and tracking, and better market our products to a much larger and broader audience.”

Produce Peddlers: Produce Peddlers is an online marketplace for buying and selling produce that prevents food waste and saves money. They received funds to reconfigure its delivery van with a refrigeration unit to increase its ability to deliver fresh and local perishable goods to consumers and businesses in the WNY region. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed many businesses, farmers and other suppliers started to back up on product. In an attempt to help, Produce Peddlers opened its marketplace to individual consumers, who were also looking for alternative avenues to source their food that didn’t involve having to go out in public places. Refrigeration will allow Produce Peddlers to handle more goods safely, be GHP compliant, and streamline its delivery methods. Received: Funds for refrigeration for mobile truck

“The ability to refrigerate our delivery vehicle has propelled our business to new heights!” said Gina Wieczorek, Co-founder, VP Operations, Produce Peddlers. “We are now able to safely transport and deliver all sorts of locally grown and produced food, including animal products, meat and other processed items, to restaurants, schools and institutions all over WNY without breaking the cold chain.”

Urban Fruits & Veggies: Urban Fruits & Veggies is an urban agriculture business with two urban farms and a mobile produce market focused on providing access and nutrition education to underserved communities in the WNY area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are growing three times as much as they usually do to support requests for food delivery, and therefore need additional growing supplies, specifically refrigeration equipment. They also need office equipment to facilitate data tracking and growing partnerships with organizations and established programs to ensure they are addressing the social determinants to health. Received: Funds for computer, laptop and printer

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About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC): re-imagining our city’s future through the dynamic intersection of technology, health, discovery, and collaboration. The BNMC is a social enterprise focused on cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community. We do this by improving infrastructure, managing our transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, driving innovation, and working with our partners to continue to build an innovative district that reflects the best of our community. In addition, the BNMC owns and operates more than 150,000 sq ft of incubator space, helping to grow a diverse array of emerging and mature companies through dynamic workspace, programming, and networking. www.bnmc-old.local

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For more information: Marla Guarino, 716.867.9528

 

Farm-To-Hospital: Fresh, Local Foods Coming to a Cafeteria Near You

Farm-To-Hospital: Fresh, Local Foods Coming to a Cafeteria Near You!

The BNMC’s Farm to Hospital initiative is designed to bring more locally grown and sourced produce, proteins, and other menu items to patients, visitors, and employees across the Medical Campus, in partnership with Kaleida Health and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Benefits of New York State Grown Foods

We all have heard the buzz about local foods.  But what does it really mean?

When businesses and institutions buy local it can have remarkable effects on public health, the environment and the local economy.  The mere questioning of where food is produced allows us to become more aware of what we put into our bodies.  And when the benefits are listed, there seems to be little question of the better option.

Wow, this stuff is tasty!  Locally grown food is at optimal freshness, picked at the peak of ripeness and therefore full of flavor.  Produce retains more nutrients and is higher in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  With fewer steps between you and the source of your food, contamination is far less likely. As well, local farmers may be using less or no pesticides and herbicides, which is healthier for the body especially for those who are immunocompromised.

In Western New York we love our green spaces and blue waters.  And, our “City of Good Neighbors” nature can extend to helping the environment too.  Eating more local foods reduces C02 emissions through less food miles travelled, helping with overall climate change.  When our producers operate well-managed farms it help protect the naturally rich ecosystem by conserving our fertile soil and fresh water from Lake Erie, as well as sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.  Buying local protects our amazing natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

Money helps too!  Choosing local supports OUR farmers. More dollars stay within the local economy and provide the security producers need to continue in this rewarding yet challenging work.  We should all be proud.  New York State ranks nationally for its top agricultural products such as wp-contentles, maple syrup and pumpkins. We are third in the nation for our dairy, wine & grapes, cabbage, cauliflower and fourth for tart cherries, fresh market sweet corn, squash, pears.  Here in Western New York we are surrounded by rural farmland and in the past decade, urban farming in Buffalo has become a mainstay and hydroponic farms provide offerings throughout the year.

Grant-Funded Program Increases Access to Healthy, Local Foods in Hospitals

In 2018, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) was one of 44 organizations nationwide and one of just four organizations in New York State to receive a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program to help create a culture of healthy food practices and increase local food procurement.  “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation” works to prioritize local agriculture within hospitals and enables farms to access new markets such as health care institutions.

Our Partners’ Role

From the beginning of BNMC’s commitment to supporting local agriculture, the food services teams at both Roswell and Kaleida Health have been leading the charge.  Devoted to providing the healthiest options, Roswell Park’s Director of Nutrition and Food Services Chris Dibble had this to say, “The culinary team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center strives to procure and utilize local produce whenever possible. Our Farm to Table program not only supports local farmers, but also provides benefits to our patients and visitors.  Eating fruits and vegetables closest to their harvest times is always ideal because they are most nutritious at that point.”

RPCCC has encouraged their employees to take part in Community Supported Agriculture programs, extending these benefits to home dinner tables.  Their team has travelled to learn more about what other hospitals are doing to support regional local food systems.

Similarly, since the start of this initiative at Kaleida, Metz Culinary has worked with the BNMC team to build on their promise of healthy offerings as well as providing helpful information on where they are sourcing their foods from and the benefits of farm fresh local foods.

“Metz’s commitment to procuring locally grown and sourced produce and meats aligns well with Kaleida Health’s commitment to advancing the health of our community,” said Hank Cole, director of Rehabilitation Medicine and Ambulatory Clinics at Buffalo General Medical Center. “Through Metz, we’re able to provide our patients, residents, employees and guests with healthy meal options, made with the freshest ingredients, while also supporting our local farmers. It’s a win-win situation. “

Kaleida and Metz are launching a Farm to Hospital campaign to share information on fruits and veggies they use in their menu as well as introducing the producers. Recently they featured a pop-up Farmer’s Market in the cafeteria, which is a fun way of getting these veggies out into homes.

Stay Tuned!

The BNMC team are proud to showcase the hard work of our food service teams and our local farmers and are hwp-contenty to help provide the healthiest – and tastiest! – culinary offerings out there.  Throughout the upcoming year, our Farm to Hospital team will provide employees, patients and visitors with BNMC Farm-to-Hospital Implementation information about featured local produce, as well as introducing the amazing farmers behind the products.  Keep your eyes out for the latest informational messages coming your way. And enjoy the tastes of the season!

BNMC Food Truck Rodeo Wraps Up October 2nd for the Season

BNMC’s Food Truck Rodeo Wraps Up Oct. 2nd

We Look Forward To Seeing Everyone Again Next Year!

View food truck schedule

Many thanks to all of you for helping ensure a safe and delicious Food Truck Rodeo this summer. We will be wrwp-contenting up the FTR at Washington & Carlton this season on Friday, October 2nd. We look forward to seeing everyone back again next year!

 

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Previous post:

Having our favorite food trucks on the Campus have provided some sense of normalcy – and delicious food offerings! – this summer. We are so hwp-contenty that our daily food truck rodeo continues to draw employees in a safe & physically distant way. For those of you planning to stop by the food trucks on the Medical Campus, please note the following changes to ensure we are able to keep this Rodeo going well into the fall.

Food Truck Rodeo Details:

  • Please wear a mask and practice physical distancing.
  • Only 4 trucks are allowed daily to provide enough room.
  • Unfortunately, there will not be any outdoor seating.  Food trucks will package all food to go. Please do not linger on the lawn after getting your food.
  • Please be respectful.

Despite these precautions, we are looking forward to another wonderful 2020 season.  Thank you for supporting our local food trucks!

Case Study: Ognomy – Disrupting Sleep Medicine

Innovation-As-A-Service: Ognomy Case Study

Check out how the Ognomy sleep apnea telemedicine wp-content went from dream to wp-content MVP in 4 months through on-demand talent. Read Topcoder’s blog on the process. Watch the Ognomy video.

When Dr. Dan Rifkin had an idea to transform the sleep medicine industry using telemedicine, he knew who to call. His company, Sleep Medicine Centers of WNY was one of the first companies to locate in the Innovation Center nearly 10 years ago, and he has known Matt Enstice, BNMC CEO, for a number of years.

“I reached out to Matt to get his feedback, and he immediately jumped into action,” said Dan Rifkin, M.D., Medical Director of Sleep Medical Centers of WNY. “I wanted to transform my business, and he gave me the tools to do so.”

Matt connected Dan to Sam Marrazzo, BNMC’s Chief Innovation Officer. Sam’s niche is helping companies – any company, regardless of industry – innovate from within.

“Our goal is to connect people with ideas to a quick but thorough process using agile innovation that can create the platform for a solution that minimizes investment and risk in the marketplace,” according to Marrazzo. “We take your domain knowledge and bring connections and ideas to move your initiative along quickly. We use novel methods to solve problems and deliver solutions at a rapid pace, allowing you to prototype prior to building a final product, saving time and money. If the idea is not going to work, we want to fail fast and move along to the next idea. Through this wp-contentroach, we are changing industries by cultivating people and ideas, much like we did with Dan and sleep apnea.”

Marrazzo pulled together an innovation team from across the country, including the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State, who helped hone in the idea and its unique business proposition, along with the UB School of Business MIS Department students and professors to help with requirements and overall implementation strategy.

He also engaged BNMC partner Topcoder, an international technology platform connecting companies to top talent. Marrazzo has worked with Topcoder for more than a decade, including bringing 200+ technology superstars to Buffalo in 2017 for its international conference. With the combination of Topcoder, UB, and BNMC’s Innovation team, we were able to develop a solution within budget and timeline that met the needs of Dan’s team.

“Within three months, we went from idea to implementation,” explained Rifkin. “It would have taken me years to get this far on my own. The connections that Sam, Matt and their team made for me are going to disrupt not only my industry, but other health disciplines as well.”

The team developed a telemedicine wp-content that incorporates practice automation and allows diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea to be done via a mobile wp-content—all in the comfort of a patient’s home. Typically, patients need to spend the night in a sleep center, hooked up to monitors in an unfamiliar room and setting. Now, with advances in diagnostic technologies, Rifkin is able to ship the equipment directly to a patient’s home and monitor them in their own environment, increasing access and ease of diagnosis.

Rifkin is now looking at other disciplines that follow similar platforms, such as cardiology, to see how they might benefit from this technology.

 

 

 

BNMC Presents Virtual Stress Reduction Series

BNMC Presents Virtual Stress Reduction Series

Weekly Webinars in June with Innovation Center Tenant Lindsay Amico from Picture Perfect Mind LLC

The BNMC is excited to announce a free virtual Stress Reduction Series with Lindsay Amico, founder of Picture Perfect Mind LLC. In these uncertain times, many of us are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and are looking for an outlet to help manage all the added stress we’re experiencing.
Join us for our June webinar series every Tuesday at 2pm via Zoom to discuss topics including: stress awareness and your biological make up, thought management, mindfulness, goal setting, and more. Let’s end the stigma against mental health!

WEBINAR DESCRIPTIONS & SIGN UP

Part 1: Awareness: How is Stress Showing Up For Us? ?
Tuesday, June 2nd at 2pm
In our opening webinar, we’ll discuss awareness and begin to identify where stress currently exists for us. We’ll understand the long-term effects of stress and how it is an important part of our biological makeup. Participants will learn helpful tools to drop into the present moment and reduce stress in 5 minutes or less. Each participant will be emailed a workbook for this session.
Part 2: Perception: How Do Our Thoughts Affect Our Reality? ?
Tuesday, June 9th at 2pm
In the second part of our four-part series, we’ll discuss how to bring awareness to our current thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Participants will learn a simple thought management model as well as how to identify when their judgmental mind arises. The goal of this webinar is to learn that we are not our thoughts and we can always choose again. Each participant will be emailed a workbook for this session.
Part 3: Dropping Into the Present Moment: Tools to Tune Into Body and Mind ??‍♀️
Tuesday, June 16th at 2pm
For our third week, we’ll learn more about mindfulness and what it means for the busy professional. You’ll experience various exercises to explore mindfulness and how it can create space in your life. Tools include a body scan, meditation, visualization, and deep breathing techniques. Participants will be emailed a workbook for this session.

Part 4: Habit Creation: Stress Reduction as a Lifestyle ✅
Tuesday, June 23rd at 2pm

Congratulations! You’ve made it to week four of the series. In this webinar, we’ll discuss how to implement everything we’ve learned over the past three weeks into our day to day lives. Participants will learn how to create a personal stress reduction commitment and how to achieve realistic goals in life. We’ll share what our biggest epiphanies and challenges have been and where we see ourselves going from here. Participants will receive a workbook via email for this session.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR ?‍?

Lindsay Amico is a Mindset Coach in Buffalo NY. Her business, Picture Perfect Mind LLC, focuses specifically on helping people to feel better on a day to day basis with mindfulness, motivational and thought management tools. With an wp-contentroach the goes beyond stress reduction, Lindsay provides people with the tools to release limiting beliefs and connect to their true purpose.

Mental Health Matters at BNMC

On Tuesday February 14th , the BNMC Healthy Workplace Initiative hosted a Mental Health First Aid training for its client companies. There were 22 people in attendance from 11 companies, including Walsh Duffield, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lawley, and Pegula Sports Entertainment.
This nationally recognized training was provided locally by Compeer Buffalo, a non-profit that takes a friendship wp-contentroach to Mental Health. Its model is nationally recognized and has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Psychiatric Association.

Mental Health First Aid training aims to educate the public on how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Upon completion of the training, participants received a certificate, identifying them as Mental Health First Aiders, equipped with the skills needed to reach out, offer help, and support someone who may be experiencing a crisis. Participants also walk away with a simple 5-step action plan in hand to help a colleague, loved one, or neighbor in dealing with a crisis until professional treatment is obtained.

Mental health is the most frequently requested topic among companies in the Healthy Workplace Initiative, and it is unfortunate the depth of local data available that supports this trend. According to the Economic Impact of Poor Health on Our WNY Community, depression alone is 19% prevalent in the Buffalo-Niagara region and costs our local workforce $170 million per year in medical spending and $415.7 million productivity losses each year. These data, combined with the existing stigma surrounding mental health, demonstrate the immediate need for further action to address the well-being of our region. BNMC hosted this training to not only improve mental health literacy among the local workforce, but to also empower collective urgency in combating mental health stigma through harnessing a proactive wp-contentroach.

In addition to being highly informative and educational on a variety of mental health challenges, the training featured a series of interactive activities to further reinforce course content. One of the most impactful activities involved comparing various mental health challenges with physical health illnesses. Based on a study by the World Health Organization, the rankings demonstrated how mental health challenges can be equally or even more compromising to activities of daily life as physical health challenges, such as vision loss.

Thank you to Walsh Duffield for sponsoring the event!

For more information on Mental Health First Aid Training, please visit http://www.compeerbuffalo.org/mhfa/

Hotlines in Crisis

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

National Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741

24-Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline for Erie County 716-834-3131

UB’s CTSI Community Partnership Development Seed Grant

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) provides seed grants that support the planning of community-based participatory research projects and engagement of communities in research.
The goal of these awards is to increase the number of community-academic partnerships that are prepared to collaborate on the design and implementation of research projects, specifically those that address health disparities, aim to improve health equity, and generate preliminary data for submission of larger grants to intramural and extramural sources. Seed grants not exceeding $5,000 will be awarded to academic-community teams for:

  • Development of community-engaged research partnerships
  • Collaboration on the design of pilot research
  • Development of community-engaged research proposals for external funding

Letters of Intent are due by March 9, 2020. Selected LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals based on criteria outlined in the RFP.

CLICK HERE for more information!

BNMC “Sparks” Creativity and Innovation in Neighborhoods

We are thrilled to announce our 3rd year of BNMC Spark – the BNMC’s micro-grant program that showcases creative ideas and strategies to support partners and stakeholders within the neighborhoods surrounding the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
We invite community members and organizations to submit proposals to receive funding for initiatives that advance the goals of BNMC and the local community. The BNMC’s key goals include:

    • Build an inclusive and collaborative culture of innovation that drives economic development and creates vibrant, healthy communities.
    • Ensure our district is attractive, welcoming, and accessible – a quality place to work, live, visit and invest in.

There is $40,000 available to the community through this RFP. The maximum award amount for each project will be $5,000.

Learn more about the projects we funded in 2019 and 2018. Watch our recent video featuring some of our Spark grantees.

The deadline for wp-contentlications is February 28, 2020. Learn more at bnmc-old.local/spark or contact Kyria Stephens at kstephens@bnmc-old.local.

Highlighting BNMC Spark 2019 Projects

Highlighting BNMC Spark 2019 Projects

As we continue to build a more diverse and inclusive environment on the Medical Campus, this Thanksgiving we’re thankful for our community partners who are working together to create active, vibrant places for us all to live, work and play.
This video highlights some of our 2019 BNMC Spark grantees, and the incredible impact these projects have had in our surrounding neighborhoods.

Stay tuned for Spark 2020 micro-grants coming soon! Visit BNMC.org/Spark for more information and to view funded organizations and projects.

BNMC’s Healthy Communities Team Attends USDA Agriculture and Marketing Summit

BNMC’s Healthy Communities Team Attends USDA Agriculture and Marketing Summit

In early October, the BNMC Healthy Communities team attended the USDA Agriculture and Marketing Summit in Rosemont, IL, as one of 44 organizations in the United States that received the Local Foods Promotion Program (LFPP) Grant. This conference was a platform to connect with other grantees, learn best practices in promoting local food, and attend a tour of Local Foods grocery store.

We had the opportunity to meet with farmers working as agents of change to solve problems in their regional food systems. Some were creating technology solutions and another established a cost-sharing model equated to “Uber for farmers” to streamline distribution efforts. Flannel seemed to be a prominent clothing choice!

BNMC was one of only a few institutions in attendance, and the only organization focused on bringing local food to health care.

Farm-to-School in Boulder Valley

One of the institutions BNMC met with was Boulder Valley School District in Boulder, CO, who sources over 25% of its food from a 50-mile radius to feed its more than 31,000 students with scratch cooked meals. Our team learned about the various promotional events BVSD hosts to support the success of their local foods program and how they educate parents and the greater community about these efforts. These events included almost 40 field trips for students, staff, and parents to local farms; school food festivals with recipes from the cafeteria; hosting “Community Conversations” for farmers to connect with consumers; and 200+ education events the school hosts for parents and community each year to share the project widely. Other than promoting local foods, another major aspect of their program is focusing on only hormone and antibiotic free meats, as well as only using vendors offering RPC’s (re-useable plastic containers). Although this model was from a school-setting, many of the practices at the school level can be translated into hospital and healthcare.

A Truly Local Grocery Store

Also included in the conference was a tour of Local Foods, a Chicago-based grocery store focused on sourcing products that are locally sourced, locally processed, and from ethical producers and suppliers for non-local items. The tour included a lunch featuring the best quality seasonal foods from mid-west farmers and a behind-the-scenes look at their impressive operations, storage, and tracking mechanisms. Local Foods has a whole animal butchery, which purchases and uses the whole animal to sell in their retail location since these items cannot go through the distribution channel. This is beneficial for ranchers as by purchasing the entire animal ranchers aren’t stuck with trying to sell the remaining parts of the animal. For the consumer, it means higher quality, better tasting meat, and a known source to where one’s meal came from. No more mystery meat!

Fresh Ideas for FreshTakes

On the last day of the conference, we attended a panel discussion on promoting and marketing local foods by three companies in the greater “Chicagoland” region, featuring Local Foods, Mighty Vine Tomatoes, and Farmer’s Fridge. This was a special moment for the BNMC team as the Farmers Fridge model was the inspiration for bringing the FreshTakes Smart Fridge to the Medical Campus. We fan-crushed a little bit, and bought their salads and snacks from the fridge in the Chicago O’Hare airport. It did not diswp-contentoint! From the panel, the team learned better ways to promote the FreshTakes smart fridges on Campus as well as how to break the traditional stereotype for vending machines being unhealthy. Additionally, based off of the Mighty Vine Tomatoes and Local Foods model, we will share successful industry practices with our community partners all in the WNY regional food system.

 

100 Days of Summer Wellness

100 Days of Summer Wellness

September is the time of year we simultaneously love and dread. Summer fun and vacations are over, and we’re brought back to routine work and school schedules. On Campus, we see more medical students – working, eating, and commuting beside us, as the new semester starts. Our hospitals continue to deliver world-renowned health care around-the-clock, while seasonal vegetables pop up on cafeteria menus along with festive pumpkin decorations on the inpatient floors. This time of year carries a spirit of being given a fresh start and inspiring us to get back to the grind – similar to the New Year. Except instead of winter weather advisories and health resolutions there are pumpkin spice lattes and back to school sales!

With that, let’s reflect on how healthy we’ve been together for the past 100 days of wellness this summer:

  • Weekly Tuesday yoga class engaged 151 people in 780 minutes of physical activity, which is the equivalent of 13 hours of pure yogi bliss. Thank you Yogis in Service.
  • 3000+ healthy meals were sold from the Innovation Center’s Fresh Takes Smart Fridge.
  • Group bike rides on Friday afternoons shredded 3,570 calories for 71 miles. That’s like biking to Niagara on the Lake and back. Thank you Reddy Bikeshare.
  • 1000+ CSA shares were distributed campus wide, providing employees and their families with fresh local produce, conveniently delivered to them right at work.
  • On Walk on Wednesdays, we walked 319,600 steps and burned 12,772 calories over 160 miles, which basically means we walked from Buffalo to Toronto and back. #runforestrun
  • The opening of Healthy Scratch at Buffalo General Medical Center in June 2019.
  • There were 1,000+ bike rentals from Medical Campus Reddy Bikeshare stations and 1,400 rides through the BNMC zone.
  • All 25 food trucks in the BNMC Food Truck Rodeo offered certified healthy options.

With all these healthy wins, let’s capture that New Years spirit of determination and get right to it now, in September! My charge to you is to make it your healthiest month of 2019 – we have the best local produce of the season, the weather is just right for walking and biking outside, and football is starting so you’ll need the healthy activities to balance tailgating festivities. Check out our Fall Wellness schedule!

Four New Summer Eats on or Near Campus!

Four New Summer Eats on or Near Campus!

August is here, and while there’s still plenty of summer left, we don’t have to tell you that now is the perfect time to get out and explore while the weather is beautiful. Here are some new spots we think you should check out for lunch or when you just need a mid-day pick me up.

The Healthy Scratch – This Harbor Center staple now has two locations on the BNMC! As you probably know. The Healthy Scratch is at Roswell Park and has most recently opened shop at Buffalo General Medical Center, featuring a wide variety of nutritious food and drink options. From nitro-brewed coffee to cold-pressed juices to smoothie bowls and sandwiches, the Healthy Scratch is the perfect spot to grab a snack or have a healthy lunch. Check out their website for a complete menu & hours of operation.

Buffalo Tikka House – Located at 23 Allen Street, the Buffalo Tikka House serves an authentic Bangladeshi and Indian Halal Cuisine. The new restaurant has received several reviews praising the flavor of their rich food and variety of dishes. They have an extensive menu, including vegetarian options and several variations of fresh naan. Buffalo Tikka House is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner, and is available on GrubHub. Learn more about Buffalo Tikka House here!

Farmers’ Markets – Pick up farm fresh fruit, veggies and other delicious goodies at one of our local farmers’ markets –

  • Downtown Country Market – Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am-2:30pm at Main & Court St.
  • MAP Mobile Market – Thursdays from 10am-12pm at the Moot Senior Center, 292 High St. & Tuesday 11am – 1pm at the Salvation Army, 960 Main St.
  • Roswell Park’s Market in the Park – Wednesdays from 11am-1:30pm at Kaminski Park & Gardens (Elm & Carlton Streets)

BNMC Food Truck Rodeo – We’re proud to host Buffalo’s largest daily Food Truck Rodeo at Washington & Carlton St! Every weekday from 11am-1:30pm, our Food Truck Rodeo features 2-5 trucks, each with a different specialty and cuisine. You’re sure to find your favorite trucks, including Lloyd’s, Amy’s Truck, Thai Me Up, and so many more! This location has plenty of outdoor seating, plus music and lawn games to create the perfect lunch break.

BNMC Hosts Buffalo’s Largest Daily Food Truck Rodeo

BNMC Hosts Buffalo’s Largest Daily Food Truck Rodeo

Looking for something new to try at lunch? Stop by the BNMC Food Truck Rodeo on the lawn at Washington & Carlton St. weekdays from 11:30am-1:30pm. We have a variety of trucks serving up so many delicious options, and healthy ones, too! All all your favorites are scheduled to join us, including Fat Bob’s, Amy’s Truck, Thai Me Up, Lloyd’s, and so many more. Located in the heart of the BNMC, the Food Truck Rodeo is here to serve anyone from scrubs to suits and all those in between!

  • We have different trucks scheduled for each weekday to ensure everyone’s tastebuds are hwp-contenty. Check out our schedule to see which trucks are coming when.
  • We have plenty of outdoor seating, plus music and lawn games to make the perfect lunch break!
  • Check out this video to see what the BNMC Food Truck Rodeo is all about.

Grand Opening of New Indoor Bike Parking

Grand Opening of New Indoor Bike Parking

The team at BNMC, along with community partners, recently celebrated the grand opening of the new secure indoor bike parking at 854 Ellicott in conjunction with our annual Bike to Work Day breakfast celebration.

“We are proud to have built an active commuter-friendly culture on the Medical Campus,” said Matt Enstice, President & CEO, BNMC Inc. “We worked closely with our transportation partners to create the region’s first mobility hub here on the Medical Campus and we continue to improve our infrastructure and commuting options to ensure efficient, safe, and healthy ways for employees, patients, and visitors to access the Medical Campus.”

We have more than doubled the indoor bike parking available to employees who work on the Medical Campus, patients, and their families with the opening of new secure bike parking with lockers in the parking garage at 854 Ellicott, adjacent to Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, and the Gates Vascular Institute.

There is space for 30 bikes in the new secure parking facility, an additional 36 spots for covered bike parking in the garage, and parking for 16 bikes right outside. In addition to 24 lockers for the cyclists to use, there is a bike vending machine stocked with bike-related amenities for commuters, including tubes, patch kits, and lights.

This adds to existing amenities, including the secure indoor bike parking with space for 15 bikes in a renovated shipping container and a bike fix-it station at the corner of Ellicott & Virginia Street that the BNMC Inc. installed in 2013. In addition, there are two Reddy Bikeshare stations with a total of 12 racks with bikes available for short term use, and free parking zone anywhere on the Medical Campus to allow users to park closer to their destination on any public rack or infrastructure without a fee.

The Medical Campus already has the densest bicycle parking in the City of Buffalo with 333 spaces (an increase of 100 spaces over last year) plus the secure bike parking. GObike Buffalo will manage the Campus-wide indoor parking as part of its longtime partnership with the BNMC.

The BNMC Inc. is the region’s leader in enhancing and marketing alternative commuting options to employees in its geography and has created the region’s first mobility hub on the Medical Campus. In addition to improving amenities for cyclists, the BNMC Inc. also works closely with the NFTA to increase service options, including extending bus lines to come into the Medical Campus. The organization also helped to design and implement the NFTA’s Corporate Pass Program, to incentivize more employees to take Metro Bus and Rail to work.

“As part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, we’re thrilled at this initiative that promotes a safe and easy way for our employees to bike to work,” said Allegra Jaros, President at Oishei Children’s Hospital. “Increased secure bike parking for Kaleida Health employees and our patient families will hopefully create more bike commuters on the medical campus throughout the community.”

“Commuting by bicycle is an efficient, healthy, and community-minded way to get to work. Safe and secure bike parking at the workplace encourages more people to bicycle to work, so we’re pleased to operate BNMC’s bike parking facility as part of our citywide initiative, GO Buffalo Niagara, to help downtown commuters use means other than driving alone to get to work.” Justin Booth, executive director of GObike Buffalo.

“Reddy Bikeshare is proud to celebrate Bike to Work Day once again with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus”, said Jennifer White, marketing and communications executive for Reddy Bikeshare. “Campus employees have really embraced the use of Reddy bikes to get to and from work, to go to lunch, and to incorporate some activity into their day. It’s great to work with like-minded partners who encourage people to choose healthier, greener options.”

Grand Opening of New Indoor Bike Parking and Bike to Work Celebration this Friday on Medical Campus

BNMC Inc. and partners highlight improvements that support biking and commuting options across the Medical Campus, promoting health, environmental responsibility, and pedestrian-friendly streets.

BUFFALO, NY – The BNMC Inc. will officially open its new secure indoor bike parking at a breakfast gathering on Friday, May 17th at the culmination of National Bike to Work Week as they celebrate those who commute to work by bike and help to build a bike-friendly culture on the Medical Campus.

The BNMC Inc. has more than doubled the indoor bike parking available to employees who work on the Medical Campus with the opening of the new bike parking with lockers in the parking garage at 854 Ellicott, adjacent to Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, and the Gates Vascular Institute. In addition to lockers for the cyclists use, there is a bike vending machine stocked with bike-related amenities, such as tubes, patch kits, and lights, to aid commuters.

This adds to the secure bike parking in the renovated shipping container and bike fix-it station at the corner of Ellicott & Virginia Street that the BNMC Inc. installed in 2013. GObike Buffalo will manage the indoor parking as part of its longtime partnership with the BNMC.

The Medical Campus already has the densest bicycle parking in the City of Buffalo with 333 spaces (an increase of 100 spaces over last year) and secure bike parking, two Reddy Bikeshare stations with a total of 12 racks with bikes available for short term use, and free parking zone anywhere on the Medical Campus to allow users to park closer to their destination on any public rack or infrastructure without a fee.

WHEN:                                 Friday, May 17th  7:00 AM – 10 AM

Brief remarks begin at 9:00 AM from:

  • Mayor Byron Brown (invited)
  • Matt Enstice, President & CEO, BNMC
  • Allegra Jaros, President, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital
  • Justin Booth, Executive Director, GObike Buffalo
  • Jennifer White, Communications Director, Reddy Bikeshare

LOCATION:         854 Ellicott Street (corner of Ellicott & Goodrich) on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

WHO:                   BNMC Inc. is hosting the event in partnership with GObike Buffalo and Reddy Bikeshare to celebrate bike commuters and those using active commuting options to get to work.

                                There will be a bike train beginning at City Hall for anyone looking to ride as a group to the event on the Medical Campus.

Collaborating partners in transportation planning will be on hand to share information about transportation options, programs and amenities on the Medical Campus that encourage employees to try biking, walking, transit, and carpooling.  Partners include GObike Buffalo, GO Buffalo Niagara, Reddy Bikeshare, NFTA, and others.

Free breakfast and coffee provided by Ashker’s and lloyd taco truck.  

###

New England Farm to Institution Summit 2019: 5 Takeaways

BNMC’s Healthy Communities team attended the New England Farm to Institution Summit in Amherst, Mass. earlier this month to share how we’re creating a culture of health on the Medical Campus, and learn about other farm-to-institution programs across the country. We are excited to wp-contently some of these concepts to our own Farm-to-Hospital program here in Buffalo!
Congrats to R. Russ from Kaleida Health for winning the first $50 gift card to Homegrown Kitchen! There’s still time to complete the survey – share your thoughts with us today.

Here are some take-aways from Beth Machnica, our Healthy Communities Catalyst:

New England Farm to Institution Summit 2019: 5 Takeaways

There were many great lessons to be learned from attendees, presenters, exhibitors and others who participated in the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit. The Summit was held at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, where they are making strides in offering local, sustainable food. While we are highlighting our 5 takeaways below, there was one theme that came up often throughout the Summit – equity. We often forget about the people throughout the entire food system who make everything possible – from the people growing our food and caring for the land – to those processing our food, fishing our seas, moving the food to our stores and institutions, and serving the food in hospitals, schools, prisons and restaurants. We heard from Jose Oliva, the co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. According to Jose, there are over 20 million food chain employees, making it the largest employer, and unfortunately, they are some of the lowest paying jobs and in hazardous working conditions. While we consider all the other takeaways, working towards an equitable food system is something that we all need to challenge ourselves to work towards.  

1. Invite farmers to campus cafeterias.

A best practice for any farm to institution project includes bringing the farmers, growers, and fishermen right to where the food is served. It links consumers eating the food with the individuals who handpicked it, connecting people with the food system and the person that grew the food on their plate. This can also be done on a regular basis through marketing materials highlighting specific farms, and telling stories of specific farmers and families. Coordinating field trips is great to build the link with staff and students, but bringing the farmer to campus allows many more to make the connection.

2. Hospitals have a lot to learn from prisons and jails.

Among the schools, hospitals, and universities attending this Farm to Institution conference were also prisons and jails. For correctional facilities involved in the farm to institution movement the benefits are greater than just supporting local farmers, the ag economy, and providing healthier foods: it’s about transformative healing. State prisons engage inmates in gardening, nutrition classes, food preparation, eating healthy on a low budget, and composting. These initiatives have a far greater purpose than simply promoting health or teaching in-demand job skills. They build self-efficacy, empowerment, and promote mental and emotional wellbeing among inmates. These initiatives can easily be translated into a clinical setting to promote healing and well-being among patients and caretakers.

3. Healthcare needs to take on an advocacy role in food policy.

Our Healthy Communities team learned how policy influences much more than just food safety in institutional settings. The Food Safety Modernization Act, a federal law, incentivizes local sourcing within 400 miles and promotes food chain transparency, both of which are goals for the Farm to Hospital Initiative that BNMC is leading locally. This law supports BNMC institutions in increasing their procurement of local food. It also demonstrates the critical position hospitals hold in influencing systems change through food policy to align with health and well-being programs.

4. Define “Local”.

Having a definition of what local means is essential to a successful farm to institution program. Does local mean within state boundaries? Within 250 miles? Within the 8 counties of Western New York? Having a set standard creates boundaries that will determine the rest of the project scope – what farmers are available to work with in the radius, what current distribution networks exit within the boundary, and if there is enough local volume of a variety of products to meet the demand. Looking beyond geography is important as well. Including local impact in your definition and assessment includes the WHY. Why are we focused on local? We want to impact our local economy, including local agriculture, and business.

5. We Learned about Hyper-Local Seafood.

Being located in New England, naturally the food served at the conference included seafood. What made it interesting was having lunch with the fisherman who caught the seafood we were eating and also learning about the local fishery economy in New England specifically. The type of fish the fishermen specialize in is dogfish, which is overabundant in New England yet Americans traditionally don’t eat because of its off-putting name. As a result, the majority of dogfish gets exported to Europe, and this utilizes more resources, is less environmentally sustainable, and the fishermen don’t know who the end-consumer is. When institutions in New England purchase the dogfish in the form of a breaded fish fillet to serve in hospitals, universities, and prisons, fishermen earn a fairer portion of the dollar for their work, it is more efficient, and the fishermen know who is eating their food.

BNMC Awards Micro-Grants to 12 Local Organizations

BNMC Awards Micro-Grants to 12 Local Organizations

The BNMC is excited to announce that we have selected 12 organizations out 37 wp-contentlicants to receive a total of $39,000 in our 2nd annual Spark micro-grant program!

Local community members and organizations were invited to wp-contently for grant funding for projects and programs that help to showcase the neighborhoods adjacent to the Medical Campus as active, vibrant places. Some of this year’s funded projects include a technology upgrade for the Salvation Army’s Youth Drop-in Center, DSLR cameras for Locust Street Art’s photography classes, and nutrition education and job readiness training for Groundwork Buffalo’s Fresh Food Fellows. Other projects include community gardens, restoration projects, music and art programs, and more.

View 2019 Spark Awardees

Sparking a Culture of Health on the BNMC

Sparking a Culture of Health on the BNMC

BNMC’s healthy communities team has been busy catalyzing wellness initiatives across Campus and our surrounding neighborhoods! From Spark micro-grants to workplace wellbeing and federal grants, we’re proud to be at the forefront of building a healthier city.

Our wp-contentroach includes:

Piloting new technologies:

We installed Byte in the lobby of the Innovation Center earlier in 2018 in partnership with Farmers & Artisans. They keep it stocked with fresh, wholesome, local food options available 24/7. We were able to purchse this through our Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant from the NYS Department of Health.  We have purchased two other machines, are rebranding them as FRESHTAKES, and will be installing them at the Jacobs Institute in the Gates Vascular Institute and the UBMD offices at Conventus.

Growing fresh produce when possible:

Through this same grant, we were able to get several Grow Towers to allow local organizations to grow their own fresh produce. Our Grow Tower in the Innovation Center has produced a variety of greens – gourmet lettuces, dinosaur kale, bok choy, and herbs like basil and parsley. We had a building get-together and made soup for everyone, and on harvest days have salad parties. We provided a tower to Hospice Buffalo, where they have been growing fresh produce to use in their cafeteria and patient menus. We also provided a Grow Tower to Erie Community College Downtown Campus for their culinary program, which supports healthier ingredients on their menu for staff, students, and the general public.

Providing Spark funding:

Through the BNMC Spark microgrant program, we provided funding for 17 different local projects, several of which involved increasing access to fresh food for our local neighborhoods. The Moot Center, a longtime partner of the BNMC, was able to build a pergola to finish off its raised garden beds that our team helped them build in 2017, allowing seniors to garden in the shade, and  providing covered space for their weekly farmer’s market and events. We also supported Fresh Fix, a local CSA that has a buy one, give one wp-contentroach.

Promoting healthy eating options on and around Campus:

We debuted our Food Map this year and quickly ran out! This guide showcases places within a few minute walk from institutions on the BNMC and encourages employees to get out and get moving on their breaks. We are currently updating and reprinting, so please let us know if you see something missing.

Seeking grant funding to support projects:

We recently launched a three-year, $351K project with support from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Promotion Program to create a model for health care institutions to integrate technology and cultivate a culture of healthy food practices to increase local food procurement. We will be moving into the public phase of this effort in 2019, so stay tuned for more! This implementation grant was a follow-on to a $25,000 planning grant we received two years ago through the same program to increase healthy food in health care.

Collaborating to eliminate disparities in food access:

Under the lead of the Mobile Safety-Net Team, we are part of a collaborative coalition of local organizations, store owners, and community members to address urban food deserts. The Healthy Corner Store Initiative aims to bring fresh fruits and vegetables, taste tests, and nutrition education, to convenience stores throughout the city to engage residents in a healthy lifestyle.

This is just a brief snapshot at some of the work the BNMC team is doing to create a culture of health and wellbeing in our community. Learn more at bnmc-old.local/health.

Tobacco-Free BNMC

A reminder that the entire Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is tobacco-free. As a Medical Campus, the health and safety of our patients, visitors, and employees is our top priority. Please help us to build a culture of health here and don’t make our visitors and employees breathe second-hand smoke. Need help quitting? Contact the NYS Smokers’ Quitline today.

Worksite Wellness: Beth Machnica takes on role of Buffalo’s healthy company advocate

Worksite Wellness: Beth Machnica takes on role of Buffalo’s healthy company advocate

By  – Copy Editor, Buffalo Business First

Worksite wellness is a hot topic and here’s why: For every $1 a company spends on a comprehensive wellness program, $8 can be saved in health care costs by lowering medication usage, surgeries or preventing illness and disease over five years.

That’s a solid return on investment, said Beth Machnica, healthy communities catalyst for Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc.

She’s leading the charge to see the region gain “company health champions” of all sizes and in every industry. And she’s doing it through the Buffalo Healthy Workplace Initiative, led by BNMC and funded by a five-year grant from the state Department of Health.

It’s linked to a public health effort titled “Creating Healthy Schools and Communities,” whose goal is to reduce major risk factors of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

“The Buffalo Healthy Workplace Initiative is a platform for collectively transforming workplaces into environments of health promotion, one step at a time,” Machnica said.

She is tasked with bringing together diverse employers to learn from each other, develop best practices and improve their focus on creating a healthier workplace.

Indeed, a company’s overall environment and culture influence the health of people who work there, she said, from such things as air quality to the type of lighting, infrastructure that supports physical activity and access to healthy food in vending machines and cafeterias. It’s also important to address social, emotional and mental health components.

“Through this initiative, BNMC makes recommendations for how workplaces can improve after an initial benchmarking exercise on these components,” she said.

Hwp-contenty and healthy employees are more productive, and offering a strong wellness program “is a huge competitive advantage that many are beginning to realize,” she said.

Have local businesses stepped up to the plate on this? Although Buffalo is home to the chicken wing, there is great momentum among local employers and insurers in being places of health. Some worksites have been at it for quite some time. They have state-of-the-art gyms, showers, walking treadmills, free healthy lunch and snacks, personal training, chair massage, stress management and financial wellness classes. Other local companies are just getting their feet wet in the space.

How can you help? BNMC has varying levels of resources, technical assistance, infrastructure and equipment to provide organizations at any level of wellness to expand and/or improve their current programs.

Can companies learn from each other and share ideas? We help companies learn from each other and share ideas through our work council model. Each month we bring together representatives from each of the organizations involved. Most times we meet at the Innovation Center on the medical campus and focus on a certain topic, such as Social Determinants of Health, Cross Generational Differences, or Active Transportation in relation to a wellness program. Sometimes we meet at other worksites to get a tour of their facilities and get a presentation of their wellness program. The majority of participants have reported in our annual survey the biggest benefit from attending these meetings other than the content is the opportunity to network.

What drives you to make difference? I am passionate about the work I do. I feel strongly about preventive health; I want to prevent chronic disease in the population as a whole more so than I want to work with individuals. Our health care system is so focused on treating sick people. I think we need to focus more on prevention altogether. And in order to do that, changes in our environment and changes at the systems level are needed, which can make a larger impact than treating people individually and putting Band Aids on things. For me, the workplace wellness space is a perfect fit to address preventive health in the population at the systems level.

What’s the bottom line? Organizations must be strategic in offering a strong wellness program that is relevant to the unique needs of their population and invest in their employees’ health. It takes time to change a habit, behavior, lifestyle and overall a workplace culture. The return, monetary or otherwise, will come with time.

What makes the timing right for this initiative? Health and wellness is trendy right now in general. With healthy food spots opening up and free yoga everywhere, Buffalo is becoming a landscape for health and well-being. Employers are catching on to this and expanding the variety of diversity of wellness offerings as a result.

BNMC Receives USDA Grant to Enhance Local Food Procurement Efforts in Health Care

BNMC Receives USDA Grant to Enhance Local Food Procurement Efforts in Health Care

Three-Year, $351K Grant Prioritizes Local Agriculture from New York State

Buffalo, NY – October 1, 2018 – The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has received a $260,325 grant to create a model for health care institutions to integrate technology and cultivate a culture of healthy food practices to increase local food procurement. The grant includes a local match of $91,063 bringing the project total to $351,388. The BNMC is one of 44 organizations around the country, and one of only 4 organizations to receive funding in New York State,  through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) during this grant cycle.

“Increasing access to local foods, especially in a place with such robust agriculture and other locally-sourced food, is good for the health of our people and good for the health of our economy,” said Jonathan McNeice, project director for the grant and director of healthy communities efforts for the BNMC.  “Supporting local food procurement is part of our overall effort to continue to create a culture of health and wellbeing both on the BNMC and throughout our region.”

This grant builds upon the more than $2M in public and private funding that the BNMC and its community partners have secured over the past fifteen years to support healthy eating, healthy worksites, and active living policies and programs in Western New York.

BNMC’s Farm-to-Hospital Initiative began in 2015 with a $25,000 grant from the USDA Local Food Promotion Program to assess feasibility for sourcing local food on the Medical Campus. The process included identifying champions inside each organization, providing learning opportunities, gathering data, engaging suppliers, partnering with experts in the field, and creating a foundational plan for future implementation. This project will now shift to an implementation phase and seek to work with food service providers, hospital staff, and farmers dedicated to this initiative and partner closely with Health Care Without Harm to implement a local model on the BNMC. Health Care without Harm is an international group dedicated to transforming health care worldwide to reduce its environmental footprint and become a leader in sustainability, environmental health, and justice.

“BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation” will create a model that prioritizes local agriculture from New York State, enabling farms to access new markets (hospitals), and can be replicated across the state. The initiative aims to establish enhanced food chain transparency from farmers to distributors to institutions; as well as implement customized crop plans in both hospitals that merge New York State’s top crops with institutional demand.

This collaborative work is expected to create a culture that embraces local farms through prioritizing local procurement; establishes and expands community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs; establishes food chain transparency; increases awareness and knowledge among consumers of local food procurement efforts; and provides knowledge and skill-building opportunities to agribusiness stakeholders (farmers, distributor, food service teams). This project ultimately aims to make local procurement a regular practice and culture among health care institutions.

“Roswell Park has been thrilled to partner with the BNMC on both the planning grant and the upcoming implementation grant,” said Christina Dibble, director of nutrition and food services at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Given the unique needs of cancer patients, we’ve made it a priority to provide seasonal, local foods for our patients, visitors, and employees when available, and we look forward to expanding our local offerings through channels that this grant opens up for us.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $102.7 million to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and other growers across the country through five grant programs. The funding supports a variety of locally-led projects intended to expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops. Of that total, $13.45 million is directed to 44 projects, including the BNMC’s, to support the development and expansion of local and regional food businesses to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets through the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).

 About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

 The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) is a multi-anchor social enterprise focused on driving innovation in partnership with our community. As the non-profit charged with addressing shared issues among our member institutions, the BNMC plays a significant role in driving positive change that builds a vibrant, innovative environment. We focus on improving infrastructure, managing our transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, driving innovation, and working with our partners to continue to build an innovative district that reflects the best of our community.

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